Happy New Year: 2021 Review!
Greetings, New Year’s Eve is finally here and, to mark the occasion, so is my last blog update for 2021. As per usual, I will be discussing my picks for the best titles in the entertainment categories that I experienced or wrote about during these past several months. Feel free to comment below on what media you enjoyed in 2021 or if there are any particular upcoming projects that you are looking forward to in the next year.
Unfortunately, 2021 felt like a bit of a washout due to the lack of cultural events or memorable moments and a more cynical or perhaps, by this point, a more realistic person would argue that 2022 will be more of the same. Despite this, one thing to note about this year was the great effort made to celebrate 10 years of Write Wise. It is a great credit to this small community that the site is still growing strong after a decade in existence, that the stories are getting bigger and better and that there is no indication that it is slowing down. I am looking forward to what will happen next year on the site but for now I’ll be discussing my winning choices.
Television Show of the Year: GLOW
Staring Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin and Marc Maron to name a few from a large and memorable cast, ‘GLOW’ lasted for 3 fantastic seasons before being cancelled by Netflix due to Covid-19 restrictions. As a result, the last planned season will likely never be seen which is a shame as it had ended on something of a cliff hanger and there were still many plotlines left to explore. The series is a dramatization of the real 1980s show, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, and follows the increasingly complicated relations between the numerous women who participate in the theatrical wrestling matches. The tenuous friendship and personal rivalry between the leads of Ruth Wilder and Debbie Eagan is one of my favourite aspects about this programme and I’d recommend that you watch it if you haven’t done so already.
Book of the Year: The Hellbound Heart
Known for being the source material of the famed horror movie ‘Hellraiser’, the Hellbound Heart was written by Clive Barker in 1986. The book, published one year before the film was released, introduced readers to the horrifying and sadomasochistic world of the Cenobites and the iconic Pinhead as Kirsty attempts to escape their pleasurable torture. It is similar to the aforementioned movie for the most part but one key difference is Kirsty’s relationship to Rory for in the film adaptation she is his daughter but in the novel Kirsty is merely a friend. If you enjoyed the story on the big screen then I imagine you would appreciate the one on paper as well.
Game of the Year: Half-Life
There is not much that needs to be said about this classic first person shooter game. Released back in 1998, Half-Life lets the player control the silent protagonist of Gordon Freeman as he battles his way out of the Black Mesa Research Facility after an experiment goes horribly wrong. There is no shortage of enemy AIs in this beloved game, either extra-terrestrial or human, and the game play has a developed a nostalgic feel to it over time. Despite being a few decades old by this point, Half-Life and its sequels still stand out as a creative high point for gaming industry.
Film of the Year: The Elephant Man
A much more down to earth film one would expect from the surreal director David Lynch who introduced the world to the bizarre series of ‘Twin Peaks’ and the cult hit of ‘Eraserhead’, the Elephant Man is based on the life of Joseph Merrick and the deformities that made him a celebrity in Victorian England. John Hurt gives an impressive performance as Merrick, while under heavy prosthetics, and his touching friendship with Anthony Hopkin’s Frederick Treves is most certainly a highlight of the movie that is worth emphasising. I also appreciated the decision taken to have it in black and white as this give the picture an almost timeless quality to it.
That about wraps it up for 2021. I hope we will be able to look upon 2022 with fondness 12 months down the line. My blog will return in January, with its usual style, to review a famous pop culture television show from the 1960s that I enjoyed watching recently for the first time. Have a great New Year!
Quote of the Day
Can the Spider-Man come out to play?
The Green Goblin / Norman Osborn
Spider-Man: No Way Home